Preview research led by our latest grant recipients

Royal College Staff
August 9, 2019 | Author: Royal College Staff
6 MIN READ

The Royal College supports medical education research through funding that helps broaden knowledge and foster scientific dialogue in specialty medicine. This is one way that we contribute to maintaining high standards in medical education and enhance the value of Royal College Fellowship.

In 2018, we awarded in excess of $610,000 in research funding across six grant categories. Keep reading to meet the newest recipients of two very competitive research grants. Preview their projects and find out why their work is important for medical education.

2019 Royal College/Associated Medical Services CanMEDS Research Development Grant

This grant supports research development or implementation of projects that advance compassion and caring as realized through the intrinsic CanMEDS roles.

Cheryl Lynn HolmesCheryl Lynn Holmes, MD, FRCPC, MHPE
Clinical professor, Department of Medicine and Division of Critical Care, and associate dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Exploring the Patient’s Role in the Medical Learning Environment

“Although much has been written about the medical learning environment; the patient, who is the focus of our care, has been systematically excluded from this discourse. Provision of patient-centered care seems to be de-emphasized as time with patients is eroded in busy clinical settings, whereas creating patient-present experiences solidifies the culture of medicine as patient-centered. Research in this area to date is limited, thus an exploration into how patient involvement can improve and influence the medical learning environment is needed. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of the patient as an active participant, with agency, in an authentic medical learning environment from the standpoint of the learner, the faculty and most importantly the patient. We hope to gain insight into the reinforcement of positive professional values, such as patient-centered behaviours and a respectful environment.”

Kori LaDonna

Kori LaDonna, PhD
Assistant professor, Department of Innovation and Medical Education, and Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Exploring patient storytelling as a pedagogical strategy for training the Intrinsic CanMEDS Roles

“The intrinsic CanMEDS Roles are essential components of compassionate, patient-centered care; yet, current pedagogical approaches may not sufficiently capture the complexities of tailoring these skills to individual patients. Every patient has a unique story about their health care journey that can provide key insights into gaps in medical training, and there is an increasing appreciation for the value of having patients actively participate as teachers and facilitators of learning. Unfortunately, concerns about feasibility, credibility and ethics limit patients’ formal and systematic engagement across postgraduate medical education. To address this, we’ve partnered with patient advisors at The Ottawa Hospital to design, implement and evaluate a storytelling curriculum to prepare patients to become effective medical educators. Our research is important because it will not only help patients tell stories that may usefully inform intrinsic role training, but it will also build the foundation for greater inclusion of patients in medical education.”


2019 Medical Education Research Grant

This grant supports work that will advance the field of postgraduate medical education or continuing professional development.

Sarah Burm

Sarah Burm, PhD
Assistant professor, Faculty of Medicine, Continuing Professional Development and Medical Education, Dalhousie University

Tracing Indigenous Learners and Physicians Experiences throughout Medical Training

“Although many medical schools have well-established programs aimed at supporting Indigenous medical workforce development, the number of Indigenous People entering medical training remains low and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s recommendations reflect a need to do better. Meaningful representation of Indigenous health care professionals in medicine is about more than increasing the number of trainees; it requires understanding the lived experiences of Indigenous People as they join and navigate the health care profession. Our objective is to conduct a narrative inquiry exploring the transitional experiences of Indigenous learners and faculty across the medical education continuum. We believe this research will complement the important work being done, both nationally and regionally, to respond to the health care needs of Indigenous People and that it will contribute new ways of thinking about the recruitment and retention of Indigenous physicians.”

Samantha HalmanSamantha Halman, MD, FRCPC, MMED
Assistant professor of medicine, University of Ottawa, and general internist, Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital

Focus on faculty evaluation: informing continuing professional development in a meaningful way

“Rigorous assessments and constructive feedback about all aspects of performance should drive learning and professional development, but this may not be the case for faculty in independent practice. Although most evaluation processes focus on care provision and teaching abilities, much more is expected of clinical faculty. To be successful, they must also be excellent researchers, mentors, administrators and leaders; faculty receive limited, if any, formal and constructive feedback about these domains. While problematic for all faculty, for those who are prone to self-doubt, lack of meaningful evaluations and credible feedback may hinder their career advancement and impact wellness. We aim to explore faculty members’ perspectives about the role evaluations and feedback currently play in their professional development, and how they obtain the insights necessary for performance improvement across multiple professional activities. This will hopefully provide opportunities to render evaluations more meaningful and impactful to faculty in practice.”

Aliya KassamAliya Kassam, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD
Research lead, Office of Postgraduate Medical Education, and assistant professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

A National Initiative to help ease the Transition from Medical School to Residency: The Learner Education Handover Pilot Project (LEaPP)

“Current literature suggests that medical learners feel inadequately prepared for residency, particularly in terms of clinical experience, knowledge and skills. Faculty are often able to pinpoint where improvements are needed to help ease the transition; however, these are heavily based on technical deficits that need improvement and not in other competency domains. By receiving advance notice (post resident matching but pre-entry) of specific educational, personal or accommodation needs, residency programs can proactively begin to plan and collaborate with incoming self-identified learners, using the Learner Education Handover (LEH),  to achieve a more expeditious and effective learner program for them.”

Sandra MonteiroSandra Monteiro, BSc, MD, PhD
Assistant professor, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University; and director, Research and Analysis, Touchstone Institute

Evaluating rapid exemplar processing to improve diagnostic expertise

“Medicine is increasingly complex, with exposure to representative patient encounters occurring in an ad hoc manner. The proposed approach takes a systematic line to building efficiency into the system. Rapid exemplar learning serves as a theoretical approach to change the delivery of medical education that is largely unchanged for the last century. To date, the only way to acquire enough exemplars to develop expert-level performance is through years of formal medical school curricula followed by informal training through ‘seeing more patients.’ This study applies modern theories of human visual statistical learning to evaluate a more time efficient method for learning to categorize diagnostic images. We believe this approach can better prepare health professions’ trainees to apply the skill of medical diagnosis.”

Hatem SalimHatem Salim, MD, FRCPC
Assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine; and associate program director, Internal Medicine, Western University/London Health Sciences Centre

Is there more to it than reading around the case? A mixed methods study of resident workplace preparation habits

“Intuitively, it is believed that better preparation habits would make for better resident performance; however, there is a paucity of research that documents how residents prepare, let alone evidence to confirm a causal relationship. The results of this study are important as many programs are undertaking major educational change initiatives. Predominantly associated with the competency-based movement, programs are being asked to personalize learning without much in the way of guidance. Many programs struggle to figure out how best to help trainees prepare and learn in the workplace. Thus this study will fill this need not only from an academic perspective, it will also serve to support programs in being able to better identify preparation habits of trainees to customize learning activities and ensure continued progress.”

Lynfa StroudLynfa Stroud, MD, MEd, FRCPC
Associate professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and staff physician, Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

How academic advisors and residents develop learning relationships and make meaning of assessment data over time

“Competence by Design (CBD) has increased the number and frequency of low-stakes, formative assessments during residency training. To help residents synthesize and use the greater amount of assessment data and feedback, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada has recommended ‘coaching over time,’ leading many residency programs to create the Academic Advisor (AA) role or similar coaching roles; however, research has yet to focus on the experience and impact of this new role. This work aims to better understand how AAs and residents interpret assessment data and how they use the data together to plan learning trajectories, what language AAs use to document these encounters, and how both AAs and residents perceive their relationship over time. The outcomes of this study will further inform CBD implementation and provide a greater understanding of longitudinal coaching relationships in residency training.”

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